SBJ/January 16-22, 2012/In Depth

What's in the works

Sports architects’ workloads increased substantially in 2011 after a three-year stretch in which the recession put the brakes on development of arenas and stadiums. Here is a list of active projects in the professional and college markets.

PROS

Bank of America Stadium: The Carolina Panthers hired Populous to complete a master plan for stadium renovations over the next 10 years. The 16-year-old facility falls in line with other middle-age NFL facilities in need of tech upgrades.

Barclays Center: The renamed Brooklyn Nets open their new $1 billion arena Sept. 28 with a series of concerts by Nets co-owner Jay-Z. It will be the first new major league arena to open in New York City in 44 years.

BBVA Compass Stadium: The Houston Dynamo christen their new $80 million MLS facility May 12, their first
BBVA Compass Stadium
Photo by: Populous
regular-season game. AEG co-owns the team and the stadium, and AEG Facilities is the operator.
n Farmers Field: AEG is moving expeditiously to develop a $1 billion NFL stadium in Los Angeles. Officials expect to have final plans in place to present to the city council by midsummer for a 72,000-seat stadium. AEG still needs an NFL team to relocate to Los Angeles.

Lambeau Field: The Green Bay Packers broke ground in mid-December on a $143 million expansion of the stadium’s north end zone. The project will add 6,600 seats and a rooftop viewing platform. It will be completed in time for the 2013 NFL season.

Lincoln Financial Field: The Philadelphia Eagles, looking ahead to upgrading their nine-year-old NFL stadium, are exploring a master plan for future improvements. To this point, the team has not hired an architect.

LP Field: City officials in Nashville recently approved $28 million in financing for improvements to the sound system, video screens and LED boards at the Tennessee Titans’ stadium. The stadium was built in 1999.

Madison Square Garden: This summer, “The World’s Most Famous Arena” undergoes phase two of a three-year,
The Madison Club planned at Madison Square Garden.
Photo by: MSG
$977 million restoration. The first phase, completed last fall, reconfigured the lower bowl, complete with 20 sold-out bunker suites priced at $1 million annually.

New Orleans Arena: Facility manager SMG and the NBA-owned Hornets hired a group of architects, including AECOM, to develop a master plan for upgrading the 13-year-old arena. Their intent is to develop new sources of revenue to attract a new owner for the team.

Ralph Wilson Stadium: The Buffalo Bills hired Populous to map improvements to 39-year-old Ralph Wilson Stadium, the NFL’s third-oldest venue. The master plan, tied to a 10-year lease extension, could result in $100 million in county-funded renovations.

Wrigley Field: The Chicago Cubs are working behind the scenes with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help finance a $200 million to $300 million overhaul of the “Friendly Confines.” A large portion of the cost would pay for structural improvements to the 98-year-old ballpark.

New Atlanta Falcons stadium: The Falcons, in tandem with Georgia Dome officials, plan to issue a request in the first quarter of 2012 to design a new outdoor stadium to replace their 20-year-old indoor facility. A Populous study reported a new stadium could cost $700 million. Financing has not been approved.

New Edmonton Oilers arena: The NHL club is $100 million short of financing a new $450 million downtown arena, but local officials continue to move forward with the project. In early December, the province of Alberta issued a request for qualifications for a construction manager.

New Miami Marlins ballpark: The $515 million MLB stadium opens this season with a retractable roof, two 450-gallon fish tanks behind home plate, and a marketing strategy in which sponsors are tied to the club’s new color scheme.

New Minnesota Vikings stadium: Officials in Ramsey County, Minn., the Vikings’ preferred site, issued a request
Proposed Minnesota Vikings stadium
Photo by: AECOM
for qualifications in December for a stadium architect. The Vikings also are considering two sites in Minneapolis. The estimated project cost is $1 billion.

New Quebec arena: Multimedia conglomerate Quebecor hired Populous to design a $400 million arena with all the amenities required to attract an NHL team. Target opening is fall of 2015. The city has not had an NHL club since 1995 when the Quebec Nordiques relocated to Denver.

New Sacramento Kings arena: Sacramento officials have approved a plan to use parking revenue to pay for about half the cost of a new $400 million NBA facility. The city selected a group with Populous, Turner Construction and Icon Venue Group to develop the project.

New San Francisco 49ers stadium: The city of Santa Clara has approved a plan to finance construction of the
New San Francisco 49ers stadium
Photo by: San Francisco 49ers
Niners’ proposed $1 billion stadium, supported by $850 million in loans from three banks. HNTB is designing the 68,500-seater, targeted to open in 2014 or 2015.

New San Jose Earthquakes stadium: The Earthquakes are developing a $60 million MLS stadium expected to open in 2013. Its designer, 360 Architecture, is also the architect for Cisco Field, the ballpark the Oakland A’s want to build in San Jose.


COLLEGES

Arizona: Heery designed a $57 million north end-zone expansion of Arizona Stadium, featuring new loge seats and a premium club, that opens for the 2013 season. The project is similar to the Blue Zone at North Carolina’s Keenan Stadium, another Heery design.

Arizona State: The school wants to create a tax-increment finance district around campus to pay for a new football stadium or complete a major renovation at Sun Devil Stadium. Former NBA executive Steve Patterson, now ASU’s chief operating officer, is in charge of the project.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks unveiled a $320 million athletic facilities master plan in October that covers 14 projects, with upgrades to Walton Arena and Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Populous was hired to complete the plan.

Baylor: The Big 12 school hired Populous to study building a 50,000-seat stadium in Waco that could cost $250
Baylor's proposed football stadium
Photo by: Populous
million, according to early estimates. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III winning the school’s first Heisman Trophy provides an extra spark of momentum.

California: The school’s $321 million reconstruction of 89-year-old Memorial Stadium is going full throttle in a race to complete the job by Labor Day weekend for the Bears’ first home game against Nevada. HNTB is project designer.

Duke: The ACC school is in the midst of a $100 million fundraising campaign to upgrade Cameron Indoor Stadium and Wallace Wade Stadium. HNTB is working on a concept for both venues in which basketball and football donors could share a new premium-seat experience.

Houston: The Big East-bound school has raised $60 million toward building a $120 million football stadium to replace 70-year-old Robertson Stadium. Houston hired AECOM to design the stadium, plus a $40 million renovation of Hofheinz Pavilion, the school’s arena.

Illinois: The Big Ten school hired AECOM to design major renovations to Assembly Hall, a 49-year-old arena. The $140 million project covers construction of 20 suites, 1,000 club seats, loge boxes, courtside seats and two clubs.

Kansas State: AECOM and Heery are designing a $75 million addition at Bill Snyder Family Stadium tied to a new press box/premium-seat structure. The timing is right, considering the man for whom the stadium is named has led the Wildcats back among college football’s elite.

Kentucky: City officials in Lexington decided last month to pursue a major renovation of Rupp Arena. A feasibility study reported it could cost $130 million to improve 36-year-old Rupp and $325 million to build a new arena.

LSU: The SEC football powerhouse hired HKS to study the cost to build an upper deck in the south end zone at Tiger Stadium. If the project moves forward, the expansion could add 35 to 45 new suites and 3,000 to 5,000 club seats, with total capacity for the stadium overall of 100,000-plus.

Mississippi State: 360 Architecture is designing a $60 million renovation of Davis Wade Stadium. The project covers 22 mini-suites, 1,100 outdoor club seats and loge boxes with a total of 250 seats, plus a field-level lounge in the north end zone.

Missouri: The school’s master plan developed by 360 Architecture calls for adding 1,200 to 2,500 outdoor club seats at Memorial Stadium. Mizzou joins the SEC this year, and the stadium’s 71,000 seats after expansion would still rank among the conference’s smallest football venues.

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are tied to three major sports projects: the $63 million expansion of Memorial Stadium, a $20 million retrofit of Devaney Center for women’s volleyball, and the $180 million, city-owned Pinnacle Bank Arena, future home of Nebraska’s basketball teams.

Ole Miss: The SEC school has embarked on a two-phase, $150 million capital campaign to finance a new arena and an expansion to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to increase seating to 70,000-plus. AECOM is designing both projects.

Rice: The Conference USA school hired AECOM to design a two-story, $40 million building in the south end zone at Rice Stadium that will feature eight suites, a hall of fame, plus sports medicine facilities and football operations offices.

South Florida: Populous designed a $35 million renovation of the Sun Dome, the school’s 32-year-old basketball arena. The project includes building an event-level, students-only club on the arena’s west side. Construction will be completed by May.

Texas A&M: The school’s plan to reduce capacity at Kyle Field by adding more premium seats was scratched after the Aggies moved to the SEC. Now, the intent is to expand seating. Design proposals were due in early January. HKS designed previous renovations.

Texas Christian: The two-year, $142 million renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium will be completed this
TCU football stadium
Photo by: HKS
summer. The total number of fixed seats will be about 43,500 with the addition of 24 suites and 2,300 club seats. TCU moves to the Big 12 Conference this season.

Tulane: The New Orleans school has raised $40 million to build a new $60 million stadium to open in 2014. The Green Wave has played home football games at the 73,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Superdome since the building opened in 1975. The on-campus facility would seat 30,000.

UCLA: Pauley Pavilion, the historic home of UCLA basketball, is going through a $185 million makeover. NBBJ designed the renovations to the 47-year-old arena, which is scheduled to reopen this fall.

Washington: Husky Stadium in Seattle is in the midst of a $250 million reconstruction at one of college football’s
Husky Stadium reconstruction
Photo by: University of Washington
most scenic venues. When the project is completed in 2013, the eight “kennel suites” will be the first field-level units in major college football.

Washington State: The school recently broke ground on an $80 million renovation of Martin Stadium after hiring new coach Mike Leach to turn around the football program. Separately, the school will hire an architect to complete a master plan to upgrade all sports venues on campus.

Sources: SportsBusiness Journal research, architects

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